Blankets has been garlanded with praise since its publication in 2003, winning an Eisner award and regularly featuring in lists of the best graphic novels of all time. But Thompson’s autobiographical tale of family life and young love in the American midwest has never before received an official UK release. First-time readers expecting an instant showstopper may wind up disappointed: the book unspools gradually over 600 black-and-white pages as young Craig negotiates life, sharing blankets unwillingly with his younger brother and reverently with his girlfriend Raina. It’s a childhood cloaked in snow, in which money is ever tight and Christ ever present, and school is a hostile place. The dialogue can be clunky, but Thompson has a great eye for the moment, and the pages fly by as Craig meets Raina at church camp, falls in love and questions his faith. While the young artist is at the heart of this fine work, everyone in Blankets has a spark and an inner life, and the fluid panels tease out character with subtlety and generosity. It’s a touching, passionate account of growing up.